An organizational method and action management system that uses Taskpaper and some scripts.
AppleScript
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Permalink
Failed to load latest commit information.
templates
README.md
Toggle TaskPaper.scpt
screenshot.png

README.md

TaskPaper Tiles

By Matthew McVickar

Version History

What Is This?

An organizational method and task management system that uses TaskPaper and a few scripts. It is lightweight, easy, and unobtrusive. I use this system as-is every day, but please consider it a starting point rather than dogma. You should use whichever set of methods and tools helps you work the most effectively. I encourage experimentation and customization.

Taskpaper Screenshot

The Basics

This system works with the wonderfully simple TaskPaper.

All projects, tasks, events, and notes are listed in one of five windows, or 'tiles': Todo, Daily, Monthly, Waiting, and Scratchpad. The entire set of five tiles is referenced repeatedly throughout the day as necessary. Enter your tasks in whichever tile you deem appropriate, and reorganize/add/edit/delete them as you work.

The screenshot above shows my recommended placement and size for each tile. Adjust as necessary.

The Tiles

Todo

Every task that isn't recurring, doesn't have a scheduled date, and isn't in another task management system like Basecamp or GitHub stays here. These are personal todos--for hobbies, side-projects, or certain freelance work. I use the TaskPaper table-of-contents sidebar to break it up. At the very bottom of this list is the Someday/Maybe pile.

Daily

A heading for things that recur each day of the week, as well as things to be done each morning and night or on a certain day. My two lists in here are 'Daily' and 'Sunday'.

Monthly

A heading for each day of the month. If you're familiar with GTD, this is something like a tickler file. You can move tasks into this tile from Todo if you want to schedule them for a particular day. I use Monthly for tasks and all of my events and appointments.

This list can be generated using the TaskPaper Month Generator (which has its own repository). You can use a very simple syntax to add tasks to the generated month.

Waiting

Keep track of incoming postal packages, money owed, and entertainment with a release date--things you have no direct control over but of which you want to keep track.

Scratchpad

Absolutely anything can go here. I don't let anything stay for more than a day or so — this is for information you need but don't want to commit to permanent storage or things you don't know if you'll need until a little while later. I love this tile because it allows me to just dump things for later and not worry about where to put them or where to find them later.

Tips

  • I use the 'Standard' theme with a base font of Helvetica 14pt. All black text. No note handles, no project handles, a project list vertical divider only for the Todo tile.

  • The perfect placement of the tiles is accomplished with Divvy.

  • Do a review of all of the panels at the end of each week to stay on top of it and get rid of things you'll never do. I have Taskpaper Review in my Sunday list in the Weekly list.

  • You can use the Quick Entry window in TaskPaper to add tasks for later sorting. I set the destination document as Scratchpad.

  • Set a keyboard shortcut to open and hide TaskPaper so that you can get to it (and then get out of it) instantly. I use F5. The included AppleScript will do this. To activate it with a key, you can turn it into a service and attach a keyboard shortcut in the Keyboard panel of System Preferences, use FastScripts, or use your application launcher of choice (I use Alfred).

  • Store the five .taskpaper documents in a Dropbox folder so that they are backed up, versioned, and accessible from anywhere, like the Taskpaper iOS app.

  • For extended, complex, and collaborative projects (like website or application development), I use issue trackers and collaborative project management software (like Basecamp or GitHub). TaskPaper Tiles is for everything else. (Although I do keep a short list of my own, current and upcoming tasks for those kinds of projects in TaskPaper, and use it as a place to enter tasks quickly for later organization into a collaborative system.)

  • Store notes and ideas in Notational Velocity. Extended sets of notes don't belong in TaskPaper Tiles; the idea is easily-manageable brevity.